Labor Day Weekend is one of the busiest travel days of the year. With millions of vehicles on the road traveling, you can bet there will be slow downs and extra officers to deal with the potential of accidents and drunk driving. This is to be expected, but what you may find surprising is that is one of the deadliest holidays in terms of traffic accidents, second only to Independence Day. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Labor Day weekend sees double the normal amount fatal auto crashes, which claims on average 407 lives annually. To help you avoid becoming a statistic, we have compiled some safety tips for safe travels this Labor Day Weekend.
Best and worst times to travel
The worst time to be on the road is Friday afternoon and evening. Many people will leave work early to hit the road, hoping to get out of town before rush hour. Speaking of rush hour, that is not a good time to head out of town. Waiting out rush hour and leaving later isn’t going to be any better either, not unless you are leaving after 9 PM.
The best time to get out of town for Labor Day Weekend will be between 5 AM & 7 AM Friday morning and Saturday morning.
Coming home from Labor Day weekend is going to be hectic on the roads as well. The earlier the better is what you should consider on heading home. To avoid backup and bottlenecks, you will want to get on the road before noon, and most certainly before 3 PM.
Don’t Drink and Drive
Nationally, Labor Day Weekend sees an average of 4,500 alcohol-related auto crashes and 220 alcohol-related traffic deaths each year. During Labor Day weekend in 2013, one-fourth of the fatal auto accidents in Oklahoma were alcohol-related. So, what can you as a motorist do help reduce senseless auto accidents this weekend?
Safety Tips for Safe Travels
First, plan ahead and get a reliable designated driver. As a backup, just in case something unexpected happens and you cannot rely on your ‘DD’, download a ride sharing app such as Uber or Lyft onto your cell phone and set it up so that you are prepared if necessary for an alternative means home. Prepare for delays in traffic and be prepared to take alternative routes in necessary. Avoid speeding or driving distracted, as both increase your risk of being involved in an accident. Lastly, increase the distances you keep between your vehicle and the one ahead of you. This extra distance will give you more reaction time.
For additional preparation and safety tips for safe travel, check out our summer road trip essentials checklist, which contains more items you may want to bring on your trip and other things to consider. Additionally, since everyone is still expected to take Covid-19 precautions, you may also want to check out our “how to” on sanitizing your vehicle.
OKC Auto Works hopes that everyone has a wonderful Labor Day Weekend doing whatever activity you find most relaxing or fun with the people you care about most. We also hope that you take care and caution to ensure you don’t become a statistic.